You’ve got to sell your heart

The most terrifying truth of the world we live (imho) is that it’s a grimdark tale of constant, unending betrayal, corruption and theft. Because lies are the rule of law. Because propaganda is now called the truth. Because when I see a police car, I am more afraid than I was without it. Because the world is falling apart, and nobody cares enough to sacrifice anything. Because we think too much and feel too little. Because we are taught to follow, even when no one leads.

But the best thing about this world is that it’s a very INCONSISTENT grimdark story: the writer put good everywhere. And every now and again, the reader thinks they’d like to live in that world.

Because a man will pull another out of the way of a train, just in time. Because a crowd will help beached whales back into the sea with a bucket and a full day of work. Because a laundry buisness out there will clean a homeless man’s suit for free if he’s going to a job interview. Because even in a time of growing fascism and evil, there are good men and women reminding us of the ideals of freedom and good. Because the world is awakening to how terribly wrong it is.

And this world is wonderful. Because every author knows that though you may guide your best-written characters, ultimately the CHARACTERS are the ones in control.

Cristian Mihai

heartIn 1938 aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”

You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.

Now, about selling your heart…

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